The moon is a vessel for our collective imagination, our space dreams. Symbolized in mythology by Artemis, goddess of the moon, our ever-changing orb represents both darkness and enlightenment; a perfect metaphor for duality. With an incredibly slow turning radius, she always shows us the same face, and has been used throughout the ages as a timekeeper, a calendar, and a source of light in nighttime navigation. Here in Hampton Roads, our king tides and frequent flooding directly influence our relationship to the moon, and to our concerns for global warming. Our proximity to NASA Langley keeps our region’s contributions to lunar research and the legendary Apollo Moonwalk at the forefront of all our minds. All over the world, the moon inspires artists, poets, and philosophers along with scientists, and connects us all with its light.
Museum of the Moon is a large-scale touring installation by British artist Luke Jerram. The sculpture of the moon is internally lit and features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. Twenty-three feet in diameter and highly detailed, the Moon was built to an approximate ratio of 1:500,000. Jerram was initially inspired by the vastly changing tides as he bicycled over the Avon River each day in the UK. This observation led to extensive research and eventually a high-resolution image of the moon created by the Astrogeology Science Center in Arizona. Accompanying the installation is a musical composition by award-winning composer Dan Jones. To date, the artwork has been presented in more than 30 countries and experienced by over 10 million viewers. People everywhere have their own distinct relationship to the moon, and yet it connects us all. Appropriately, each community that presents the Museum of the Moon is invited to create its own programming to accompany the experience. This fall, Jerram’s Moon will be in orbit right here as we close down 43rd street for a three-day outdoor pop-up exhibition!
Photo by Robert Sils